One of our cars, the one I drive, has decided it needs both a new transmission and radiator. When we lived in the states this wouldn't be as big of an issue as it is here in Germany. See, our extended warranty is only good in the states (gotta love fine print) so we are having to pay 4500 euro out of our savings. That equates to about 6400 US. So yeah, our family is going to have to live extra simple these next few months to not completely deplete our savings.
It won't be easy, especially since our family has all our birthdays and major holidays within a 2 1/2 months span of time. But at the same time I think it will be a fun adventure. As Americans we are used to getting everything we want when we want it. Most of the world doesn't live that way. They have very little and make it work. Now, we will have to learn to make do with what we have and be content with it. This forced simplicity will hopefully bring these lessons home for our kids (and us.)
Some serious changes will have to occur, like not eating out, but making sure our family is secure financially is far more important than not getting to eat at Christoph's or the donner kebab place. But in the end the lessons we will learn during this time will help us and our children to make better decisions about money and not be so tied to material wealth. (Oh, and don't buy ford)